Comics : Ultimate Fallout #3

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This review was first published on: Oct 2011.

Background...

With Spider-Man’s passing everyone is dealing with it in their own way, some through sorrow and hate and other’s with a more peaceful demeanor. Aunt May, on the other hand, after finding out during Peter’s funeral from Captain America himself, that Peter died because he took the bullet that was meant for Rogers even after Rogers belittled him, is so furious she slaps him across the face. Mary Jane, in a similar fashion, is filled with rage towards Nick Fury and vows to do everything she can to bring his involvement in Peter’s death to light for all to see.

In Detail...

Ultimate Fallout #3
Sep 2011 : SM Guest
Summary: Ultimate Spider-Man Appears
Writer:  Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer
Artist:  Eric Nguyen
Pencils:  Carlo Pagulayan, Steve Kurth
Inker:  Jason Paz, Jay Leisten
Lettering:  VC's Clayton Cowles, VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Antonio Fabela, Rachelle Rosenberg
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Sitting in the church during Peter’s funeral, Tony Stark thinks back to four days prior when he was sitting in another church for another funeral, only this one much less crowded, for his brother, Gregory. Later at the cemetery Tony is approached by a man named Jonathan Blackhaven, who introduces himself and tells Tony that he and Tony’s brother were in business together. Stark starts to brush him off thinking that he’s there about money, but Blackhaven tells him he is interested in so much more than that. Then he asks Tony if he likes Zurich this time of year.

In a beautiful chateau in Zurich,Switzerland Tony Stark and Jonathan Blackhaven are talking when Blackhaven informs Tony that the others are eager to meet him. As the two men start walking they discuss their wealth and how other people view them because of it, that people who have the kind of wealth that they have must have come from Old Money and that they haven’t really earned it themselves. But it is that they hadn’t inherited their fortunes, they earned it with their own knowledge and ingenuity and because of that they both belong to a small group of super elite individuals,some of which Stark is about to meet.

The five people waiting for them are all extremely wealthy, owning some of the biggest and most successful companies on Earth. One of them, Damon Dunn, is already an acquaintance of Stark and the two of them appear to be on friendly terms. After the introductions Blackhaven invites Tony into their little group called the Kratos Club where they and 50 other really important, self-made people are going to collectively pool their intellects and resources in order to influence the world. And why shouldn’t they, Blackhaven believes Each of them has proven how smart and successful they all are, so who else should be in charge of all the important decisions in the world. Blackhaven tells Tony to think about it and that’s exactly what he is doing at Peter’s funeral, he’s thinking about it.

Also sitting in the church is Kitty Pryde and at the sight of J.Jonah Jameson and Nick Fury, says “Screw this” and decides to leave. Outside on the steps a reporter is interviewing people, which causes her to lose her temper even more and she tells everyone to leave and that they make her sick as she phases through the reporter’s camera shortening its circuits. As she walks away she thinks about how contradictory everyone really is - that if everyone really cared about Spider-Man, they would have shown it more. Really she’s pissed at Jameson and Fury and how if Peter meant to them what they say he did then Peter probably wouldn’t be dead.

Kitty is pretty lost in her thoughts about how pretty much everyone sucks and how they only appreciate Peter now that he is dead even though they hated him when he was alive, when she runs into Bobby sitting on a bench alone crying. Bobby is in pretty bad shape over Peter’s death and on top of that he’s worried that because he’s a mutant and the government is looking for him, he can’t go back and live with Aunt May any more because they would go after her.

He realizes that this is what is waiting for all of them - being super heroes sucks and eventually it all catches up on you and they kill you. Bobby is really scared but Kitty tells him she knows a safe place for them to go where no one can find them but if they go they can never, EVER, use their powers again. If he can promise that, she’ll take him with her. Bobby tells her he’s in but only if Johnny can come too.

Two weeks before the funeral, Karen (someone I have no idea who they are) is talking with Bruce Banner in a sealed off, clinical room to help him learn how to control his anger. She asks him if he remembers the first time he lost his anger and transformed into the Hulk. He does and apparently it involves Spider-Man.

With pink energy emanating from her head Karen questions Banner further but he stops her, warning that whenever he has tried therapy before it has never ended well for the therapist. She tells him nothing is going to happen to her because she is in complete control. And using her powers she keeps Banner completely relaxed as he transform into the Hulk. She then informs Fury that he can come in now.

With Fury now in the room he asks her if she can keep the Hulk under control. She informs him that each time it gets harder and harder, but yes, she can control him. Fury then tells her that he can use them and that she’ll be hearing from him soon. With Fury gone Karen kisses the Hulk on his forehead and wishes him sweet dreams. With a smile on his sleeping face the Hulk dreams of destruction.

In General...

Tony Stark has been approached by a Jonathan Blackhaven to ask him to join his group of super industrialists who have plans to use their power, their resources and their intelligence to start making all of the decisions in the world to make it a better place. This seems like an incredibly arrogant and foolish endeavour and I’m surprised that we see Tony Stark actually contemplating it. But sitting in Peter’s funeral is making him reevaluate if what he is doing as Iron Man has any real-world value and if he could be more useful refocusing himself elsewhere.

Kitty Pryde, also at Peter’s funeral, is angered by the sight J. Jonah Jameson and Nick Fury appearing morose and leaves the church only to assault a reporter outside on the church steps. As she walks through the park thinking about how crappy everyone is, she runs into Bobby who is not only saddened and shocked by Peter’s death but is also scared about his own safety. Kitty gets him to calm down and offers to take him and Johnny to a place where they will be safe only if they swear to never use their powers again.

Two weeks prior to the funeral the Hulk is going through some anger management therapy with a woman named Karen who has the ability to keep the Hulk in check. After she tells Nick Fury that she is in complete control he tells her that he will have need of her and the Hulk in time.

Overall Rating...

So far the parts of this series that I have enjoyed the most have dealt with Spider-Man’s supporting characters and how they are dealing with his death. In this issue we get one story segment out of three that has Peter’s best friends in it really in emotional turmoil over his passing. The other story parts have to do with some secret, rich-guy club that wants Tony Stark to join them and then something to do with the Hulk getting controlled by some woman, who I have no idea who she is because I don’t read every other Ultimate comic series, for Nick Fury, who has plans for them both. These two story plots will probably be revisited in the issues to follow and having those kinds of story segments is fine because it helps leads the story forward but here it just seems like the whole point of this mini-series was dealing with Spider-Man being gone and when the majority of the comic is laying the groundwork for other future stories, it just makes the current comic come off as flat. If I wanted to read about Tony Stark and Nick Fury then I would be reading their comics.

Footnote...

I didn't know who the Karen in this issue was, but apparently she is the Ultimate version of Jean Grey, who is going by the name of Karen Grant. Thanks go to Ksawarrior for the information.